Tell us a little bit more about yourself?
My name is Gene and I’m a 20 years old undergraduate. I’ll be starting school at Yonsei University this fall. I love creating things, which is why I take photographs. I also love collecting vinyl records and museum hopping.
What do you love about the country you live in?
I live in Singapore. I love it because it’s a tiny country but there’s plenty of local talent for you to discover if you make the effort to do so.
Are there any particular locations you love to shoot in?
I can shoot anywhere. No specific location, but I do like shooting near where my subjects live. I think it makes it very personal.
What is your motivation in life?
The goal of becoming a better artist motivates me. Also, my mother.
What challenge do you face in your life?
Feeling inadequate is my greatest challenge and greatest motivation. The works of others always humbles me, and it makes me strive to create better things that can move people.
Do you have any countries in the world where you would love to someday reside in?
I’d love to live in Japan for a little while. I went to Japan on my own recently and fell in love with it. Did not have the chance to explore some places that I’d originally planned to visit, so I’d like to go back. Also, I am a huge fan of Japanese photographers; it would be a good opportunity for me to learn.
Share with us about your experience over in Japan.
I loved Japan. The only Japanese I spoke was the word ‘すみません’ (sumimasen) but that was enough to get me around because the people went out of their way to help me. I don’t have a particular story. One pretty funny incident was when I was in Shimokitazawa. I was searching for my camera in my bag and did not realize a cutie looking at me. When I looked up, I thought I’d gone to heaven. HAHA! He’s the best-looking boy I’ve ever seen. I must’ve looked like such a dork.
You have mentioned earlier that your hobby includes collecting vinyl records. Music must have played an important role in your life. How has music inspire you in your photography?
YES! In a huge way! I got into music at a very young age and I have always loved watching music videos (probably was too young to watch MTV). The different concepts and vibrancy of music videos are something that I’ve always been inspired by. Music always puts imagery in my head and I’ll try to recreate that in my photographs.
What would you classify your style of photography?
I am not sure if I have found my style yet. It’s still too early to say. However, I can say that I am drawn to simplicity.
As a photographer, tell us about a story about a moment that really captures you?
I shot with my friend, Amos, the other day, and when I showed him the photographs, he told me that he’d never seen his natural state as beauty until then. That really touched me.
How do you select your subjects for your photo-shoot?
I am quite selective with the people I shoot. I have to be comfortable with them, and we have to be able to connect emotionally and artistically. These people are usually my closest friends and they are also my greatest inspirations.
What is your motto that you live by as a photographer?
You can only show what you know.
We understand that you are a film photographer, what equipment do you use to capture all your beautiful images?
I have a few film cameras that I use but recently I have been using my Leica Minilux a lot.
Why do you love to shoot in film and particularly the 35mm?
I like how you have to put effort into making pictures when you’re using a film camera. 35mm’s a good format because I cannot afford 120 films (True life of a girl with student loans)
Do you edit your film photographs?
I don’t edit my film photos!
Are you planning to try any other mediums in photography?
I don’t have plans to, but given the opportunity, I would!
Now moving on to Instagram, what is your new account - @pngprints all about?
I started printing my photographs and selling them in the store where I work. They were selling pretty well, so I thought having a separate account solely for my film photographs would make it easier for people to see my work without the distraction of 100 food pictures and silly selcas (selfies).
Do you plan to keep a theme going?
My personal instagram feed is a mess. I’m trying to keep @pngprints nice and neat. Knowing me, it will be tough to do. Also, like I mentioned, I haven’t found my personal style yet. I’m hoping that watching my feed grow can help me figure that out.
How do you think Instagram has allowed you to connect with your audience?
It’s a great platform that’s very easy to use. I try to incorporate bits of my daily life into my captions so hopefully; people can get to know me better.
Are there any new concepts that you are planning to venture into?
Recently I’ve been putting in more effort into styling my subjects. So, maybe fashion?
Lastly to end of the interview, what can we expect from you in the near future?
Random, but I might be doing a little acting for a short film. Also, expect more photographs!